While I was reading "the world is flat" at the hairdressers, it came to my mind that Google is building a data center in Belgium. The location is quite near to where I live (found that quickly thanks to Google and Belgeoblog), so I thought this would be a great excuse for a motorbike trip. After lunch I headed south with clear sky's (well, kind of) and no Harley's in sight. Destination was Baudour, a sleeping village in the not-so-affluent "Borinage" region. That's a part of Belgium where we used to have coal mines, now it's the kind of place where a Ford Capri is a cool second hand car rather than an old timer.
So the mission was to find the construction site of the new Google data center, and snap a few pictures to share with my readers. A pleasant little trip of about 65km of country roads brought me (past the Chateau de Beloeil) to Baudour. The industrial park Ghlin-Baudour Sud was easily found. One trip around the estate and it was clear which part was the Google site, an official paper on a tree confirmed my thoughts: A permission for Crystal Computing to construct an information technology complex. Crystal Computing being the cover-company to keep Google anonymous for some time.
The site is guarded, which is not standard in Belgium, so I had to stop by the side of the road to make a few pictures. And here is the result. Maybe I'll make this a regular trip every few months so you can follow the construction works. I'm not much of a photographer, nor a photoshopper, but hey, you get the idea don't you?
One more thing. Apparently the proximity of a canal for cooling water was a criterion for selecting this location. Well, there's enough to cool a nuclear power plant here :)